When a TV show has been on for several seasons, it can be difficult to keep things new and interesting — maybe one of the stars has quit, or all the obvious plot lines have already been covered. As a result, writers will often introduce a new character to insert some new energy into the show. The problem? Usually it’s that “solution” that sends the show into a tailspin of crappiness.
Here are 10 TV characters who were introduced late in a show’s run but ultimately made things worse.
10 terrible TV characters who made us hate the shows we once loved
Randy, That ‘70s ShowAfter Topher Grace left the long-running FOX sitcom at the end of Season 7, the writers introduced Randy (Josh Meyers) as a replacement. But audiences missed Grace and immediately hated Randy – no matter how good Meyers was. At the end of the eighth and final season, Randy barely even got a sendoff, almost as though the writers knew viewers didn’t care what happened to him.FOX
Kali, Stranger ThingsOkay, so Kali (Linnea Berthelsen), Eleven’s supernatural sister in arms, didn’t completely ruin the second season of Stranger Things, but the episode that featured her was the low point of the season and invited plenty of criticism from fans. Between taking Eleven away from the rest of the characters to ultimately playing no important role in the rest of the episodes, the introduction of Kali was a bit of a misstep.Netflix
Dawn, Buffy the Vampire SlayerJoss Whedon tried to subvert new character tropes when he brought in Dawn (Michelle Trachtenberg), Buffy’s previously unseen sister, in season 5 — she wasn’t a desperate ploy by the writers, she was actually a spell cast by some monks! But regardless of her origins, Dawn was still a very annoying teenager who took screen time away from the rest of the Scooby Gang. Buffy’s quality never quite recovered once Dawn showed up. The WB
Connor, AngelSpeaking of the Buffyverse, nobody was thrilled when Angel suddenly had a son named Connor (Vincent Kartheiser) – who, through reasons of different dimensions and time travel, became a sullen teenager in less than a season. Even worse, Connor was an annoying jerk who refused to listen to anyone but himself, and he ended up screwing up almost everyone’s lives.
Nellie, The OfficePerhaps The Office was always going to decline once Steve Carell left the show — after all, what is Dunder-Mifflin without Michael Scott? But bringing in Nellie, who was thoroughly unpleasant, awkward, and unfunny to watch, certainly didn’t help things, even if she was played by delightful actress Catherine Tate.NBC
The med students, ScrubsScrubs had ended. The season 8 finale was meant to be a series finale, and it’s obvious to anyone who watches it what that episode is meant to be. But then ABC decided to renew it for a ninth season, with Zach Braff only returning for a handful of episodes, meaning that the rest of the season focused on a new group of med students. What were their names? Nobody remembers or cares. ABC
April, Gilmore GirlsGilmore Girls fans the world over rolled their eyes when, several seasons into the show’s run, suddenly Luke Danes had a teenage daughter he’d never known about. To make matters worse, the introduction of April (Vanessa Marano) eventually led to Luke and Lorelai breaking up, making viewers even more frustrated with the unnecessary character.The WB
Maya, HeroesGranted, Maya (Dania Ramirez) was introduced in Heroes’ second season, which isn’t that late — but considering how quickly the show went off the rails in season 2, we’re still counting it. A mutant who could kill everyone in her immediate vicinity while her eyes bled, Maya had zero connection to the other characters, and was a chore to watch. Heroes limped along until the end of season 4, and while it wasn’t all Maya’s fault, she definitely didn’t help. NBC
Johnny, The O.C.Sending Marissa Cooper to public school seemed like an interesting storyline in theory, but in reality, she ended up making friends with Johnny, a complete waste of time and space for both the character and the viewers. He whined his way through several episodes before eventually getting killed off, to everyone’s satisfaction. Sadly, The O.C. only lasted one more season after that.FOX
Nikki and Paulo, LostWhen these not-new-but-had-never-been-seen-before castaways were introduced in season 3, viewers made their disapproval very clear to the writers – so much so that Damon Lindelof quickly killed both of them off within a single episode and apologized for the plotting misstep. Kiele Sanchez and Rodrigo Santoro tried their best, but ultimately the island got them. ABC